The Annual Lincolnwood Drive block party in Evanston, Illinois, celebrates the end of summer and the beginning of the next school year. Children and adults alike, look forward to this yearly event where neighbors, family and friends come together to eat, drink and be merry.
The Fies Family — Andy and Jean — provide the centerpiece of the block party with their slow-cooked, North Carolina pulled pork recipe. The entire block salivates each year waiting on this delectable dish.
Everyone else brings side dishes, like macaroni and cheese, salads, veggie dishes, red velvet cake, cheese cake, cup cakes and apple pie. There are plenty of creations to delight any palate, but the pulled pork dish is the highlight of the event and everyone waits for the showpiece to arrive.
Here is the recipe for what they made.
North Carolina Pulled Pork
Servings: 8 to 10
Time: 15 hours (slow cooking)
1 pork shoulder (7-10 pound)
1 or 2 Tablespoons of paprika, brown sugar and salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 pork shoulder (7-10 pound) – make sure that the fat is not trimmed off of the meat.
For the rub, mix all the spices together in a bowl. Generously sprinkle the rub on the meat. Rub well into the meat. Wrap and place in refrigerator overnight.
Soak several chunks – not chips, which are much smaller – of hickory or pecan wood in water for at least half an hour before starting your grill.
Set up the grill for indirect heat. You'll need 25-30 briquettes for a fire of about 300 degrees. Use the vents to help regulate the temperature. Once you get the coals going, add about 3 chunks of wood on top of the hot coals.
Place the meat on the grill over a drip pan, close the lid and keep it that way! Open only to add more coals and wood.
Maintain the temperature by adding 12-15 coals every hour-and-a-half or so. (I like to get the new coals lit in a charcoal chimney and then add them.) Add chunks of wood when you add new coals.
Remove the pork from the grill when a meat thermometer shows its internal temperature has reached 195 degrees. You should figure about 8 hours for a 10 pound cut.
(Note that this is heresy to many pitmasters who say true "low and slow" barbecueing means a much cooler fire and far longer cook times. But this method has worked for us.)
Let cooked pork cool for 20-30 minutes.
Pull pork into shreds. It will be very hot. Start by pulling off chunks to let steam escape. You can wear rubber gloves if hands are too sensitive.
Add 1 to 2 cups of sauce to pulled meat.
Sauce: Whisk these ingredients together
2 c. cider vinegar
1 1/2 c. water
1/3 c. brown sugar
4 t. salt
4 t. red pepper flakes
1 t. white pepper
1 t. black pepper
Use remaining sauce for slaw and as a condiment for the pulled pork.
Slaw: Chop cabbage then add sauce
1/2 head of green cabbage
1 c. sauce (see above)